The Professor's Desk

The God Who Delivers

From The Harvard Ichthus, April 23, 2015

On Monday I served as guest lecturer in AAAS10, Introduction to African American Studies. Professors Henry Louis Gates and Larry Bobo invited me to discuss the history of African American Protestantism in the United States, a daunting task for a fifty minute time slot. Yet the assigned readings, which included Albert Raboteau’s Slave Religion and James Cone’s Black Theology and Black Power, allowed me to focus on black religion as a tool of liberation from oppression.

Read the full article ➤

Protesting Ferguson

Ferguson RallyProfessor Jonathan L. Walton's speech from the Ferguson protest in Harvard Yard on December 3, 2014 (Photo by Tiana A. Abdulmassih)

“Protect and Serve” or Criminalize and Contain?
Protesting the Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, MO

Beginning in 1955 in the city of Los Angeles, the police academy adopted the motto, “To protect and serve.” This pithy but powerful phrase encapsulates the mission of police departments across this country. To protect and serve members of the community; serving residents by protecting residents from harm and danger.  Unfortunately, for too many in our nation it seems that our modern militarized police forces are less concerned with protecting and serving, and more concerned with containing and criminalizing; particularly when it comes to the black male body. Black bodies are to keep in their place; capitulate to state power; lest they be criminalized for little more than appearing out of place.... Read more about Protesting Ferguson